The whole purpose of this blog is to show that it’s not always as easy as you would hope.
I went to Uphill to look for the Short-eared Owl that I had seen earlier in the month with two other keen birders. 3 pairs of eyes and we were bound to get some good sightings. As it turned out we saw nothing of note and the little I did see I managed only poor shots.
After Uphill we went on to Sand Bay in the hope of seeing a Dartford Warbler. No success.
Even the Goldfinch photos I thought I had captured successfully (and joked about) were marred by branches covering the bill.
Only a few Dunnocks, a Wren and a House Sparrow for a morning’s work.
Work? Oh no it wasn’t, just a lovely morning out with a couple of chaps with the same interest. I must say it wasn’t a successful birding trip but great fun all the same.
Although there was bright sunshine as I drove through Bristol as soon as I arrived in the Chew Valley it was misty and murky and rather mystical.
At Herons Green I saw a flock 30 or more Sand Martin chasing the masses of flies but they soon disappeared. There were plenty of Tufted Ducks, Pied Wagtail and Chaffinch and a few distant Great Crested Grebe but not much else.
From Moreton hide I could see Golden Eye, Shelduck and some very distant Scaup.
At Herriotts Bridge there were some more Golden Eye amongst the Tufted Ducks.
The sun was coming through at Blagdon Lake but all I could see were Coots close up and two Buzzards overhead.
Very blustery and quite dull at Chew Valley Lake today. The best was seeing Goldeneye displaying by throwing their heads right back.
Great Crested Grebe are looking attractive as they come in to breeding plumage.
Lots of Tufted Ducks and all sorts of Gulls (which I need to get to grips with). The Mute Swans all seem very active, as were all the birds when the Buzzard flew over (but they all seemed oblivious to the drone).
Great fun talking to all the enthusiastic (and very knowledgeable) birders.
We went to Uphill to look for a Short-eared Owl which has been reported there in the last few weeks. Initially we had no luck and so I started taking some poor photos of Redshank. However, we could see the rain coming in so we headed back to the car.
At the last moment we caught sight of the Short-eared Owl and, with the help of Lightroom, I rescued a few half-decent shots from the gloom.
At first there didn’t seem to be a lot about (or as the tide was low not close enough for me to see) so I walked through to Aust. It was surprisingly mild and, although I didn’t take many photos, it was a good walk. The best birds were probably the Kestrel near Aust and the House Sparrows (male and female – I think) right at the end. Not sure what the first bird was as it was very dark but now looks like a Dunnock. A charm of 20 Goldfinch in one tree near the end.
A brief walk around the lake in Eastville Park this afternoon. The Mallards are quite interesting at the moment as they change their plumage. A Grey Wagtail (ISO 20,000!) fishing up the stream that flows in to the River Frome in Eastville Park. A failed effort from the Grey Heron. Desperate for a photo I took a photo of a Blackbird but missed lots of opportunities of a Long-tailed Tit building a nest near the allotments.
A wet and windy morning at Chew Valley Lake. We had drunk our flask of coffee at our first stop and then took refuge in Stratford Hide to get out of the wind. The water in the lake is now very high so there was no sign of the Jack Snipe I had seen on my last visit. Good to meet Lee Gardiner (Lee @Wildwood_photos) who pointed out the Common Gull to us.
2 Great-blacked Gull stole the show. There were also Black-headed Gull, Shoveler, Shelduck, Teal, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Coot and a Lapwing.